Spring is finally here. It took its time… a long time. My first two springs in Switzerland arrived in a hurry, with very warm temperatures and sunny days. They looked more like early summer that was prolonged until well into autumn… Not this year. It seems that spring took it easy. After a sunny and “warm” winter in the mountains, it seemed as if spring never wanted to arrive. We’ve been wearing coat and scarf until very recently! Dark, grey and rainy days have been the norm these past weeks… And even the trick that worked for us the previous years (if it was cloudy in Zurich, we would look up the forecast of another valley where the sun was shinning…) wasn’t useful these past weeks. It’s been a bit boring and frustrating! Specially because I couldn’t do what I love most: hiking and taking photos…
Fortunately, it seems that this strange and cold spring is over. Sun is finally out! And even if there’s still snow in the mountains, the valleys are green and full of colorful wild flowers, cows are out of their sheds and their bells fill the air with music again… It feels like summer is not far now!!
At the beginning of May we had one of those very rare sunny days. Suddenly, sun was out after days without seeing it, and the forecast for the following days was also dark and cold. We didn’t think twice. We put on our hiking boots and jumped in our car. Destination: Gruyères! We drove to canton Fribourg, in the francophone part of Switzerland, ready to explore this region famous for its cheese. We started our hike in Val de Charmey, a little town close to Lac de Montsalvens. From there, we walked following the shore of the lake and through a beautiful forest until we reached the end of the lake. Then we followed the little river that flows from the lake through a small gorge and suddenly, a wonderful smell of chocolate inundated the air. We had arrived to Broc, home of Maison Cailler, the first Swiss chocolate factory founded in 1819. We didn’t stop at the factory (although I really wanted to do it!!! Hehehe) and continued walking in a green valley until we saw the majestic Gruyères castle on the top of a hill, dominating the little medieval town and all the landscape around it and with the snowy mountains behind. It is quite a sight! We explored the little 13th century castle, admiring its well-preserved beautiful rooms and gardens. And we ended our trip visiting the Maison du Gruyére, where we learnt all about the world famous cheese produced in this region.
Here are some photos I took that day. I hope you like them!